Glossary of Music Theory Grades1-3

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What is meter?
organizing pattern of strong and weak beats
What is a natural?
a symbol that cancels a flat or sharp. Just play the white key that is named.
What is an interval?
distance (how far) in pitch between two tones (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th)
What is a time (meter) signature?
A symbol placed at the beginning of a piece. The BOTTOM number tells WHAT KIND of note gets one beat and the

TOP number tells HOW MANY beats are in every measure.
What is a sharp?
a symbol that tells a performer to play the very next key higher. (right)
What is a measure?
the distance from one bar line to the next
What is a flat?
a symbol that tells performer to play the very next key lower (left)
Where do you find a double bar line?
at the end of a piece.
What is a keynote?
the first pitch (degree) of a scale
What does a tie do?
Connects notes of the SAME pitch.
What does it mean when you see a dot above or below a note?
It means "staccato"- to play the note quickly.
What does a slur do?
Connects notes of a DIFFERENT pitch
What does forte (f) mean?
What does piano (p) mean?
What is a whole step?
two half steps (skip a key)
What is a half step?
the distance from one key to the very next key
What does legato mean?
to play in a smooth and connected manner
What is a scale?
pitches arranged in alphabetical order, beginning from any one of the seven musical letters
What is a major scale?
a scale made up of whole and half steps used in this order:

What is a key signature?
a sharp or flat placed after the clef sign on each staff to tell the tone (pitch) center

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